Allo Katana V1.2 DAC with Pure THD+N Output Stage


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The Katana is Allo’s top-performing DAC (Digital-Analog Converter) for the Raspberry Pi. Use this to feed high-quality analog audio signals from your digital music files to your amplifier. It features a choice between two different output stages, tuned for different tastes. This Katana DAC includes the THD+N output stage.

Also available are the Katana DAC with Sound Quality output stage, as well as the individual Sound Quality output stage that you can purchase for swapping with the Pure THD+N output stage included here. Only one output stage can be used at a time.

The description of the two output stages are below. Allo says “The difference between the output stages depend on your system and your personal preference. We really like both.”

  • Pure THD+N Output Stage: At -112.9 Thd+n 1Khz A weighted, this stage will satisfy those that want no distortion in music. Board sounds very good.
  • Sound quality Output Stage: 100.5 Thd+n a weighted 1Khz, this board has been optimized for sound quality. While sacrificing some thd+n numbers we found the subjective experience to be, in a word, closer to analog sound.

The Katana Story

Allo set themselves the goal of building a DAC that would compete with any other under $1000. They went to great lengths, selecting a unique DAC IC (ESS9038Q2M) and ultra low jitter NDK clockss. Power is filtered well, with resulting noise in the micro-volt (uV) range.

A unique analog stage featuring 6 custom opamps configured for class A amplification results in a total noise lower than 1mV! Each board is hand-trimmed for DC offset, and programmed for THD+N compensation.

So in essence, the Katana DAC is an excellent implementation of the Ess9038q2m in Master Mode (an industry first).The resulting THD+N numbers (1Khz, 0 dbfs, a weighted) are -112.75!!!


  • Possibility to wire balanced XLR output (Soldering required)
  • Board mounted RCA output connectors
  • ESS SABRE 9038Q2M DAC chip
  • THD+N (1Khz, 0 dbfs, a weighted) at -112.75
  • Ready to use with DietPi, Volumio, Max2Play, Picoreplayer, Moode and more.

Katana DAC with Pure THD+N Output Stage – Contents

  • Katana DAC Stack with Pure THD+N Output Stage
  • 1 x DC 5.5 x 2.5 to DC 5.5 x 2.1 DC Barrel Adapter
  • 1 x type-C-to-DC Adapter Cable (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)
  • 1 x microUSB-to-DC Adapter Cable (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)
  • 1 x Battery Wire-to-DC Barrel (inner barrel 5.5mm x 2.5 pin)

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